Glenn Beck met with Billy Graham on February 19.   Beck is a Mormon, and a self-made leader in the re-emergent Religious Right and Tea Party movements, and Graham is a Baptist evangelist, long-time esteemed leader of American evangelicalism.  An unlikely pair.  Yet, in the last Gallup poll for “most admired man” Beck and Graham tied…

In April 1967, a year before he was killed, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached on the “fierce urgency of now” in a sermon entitled, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”  Of all his speeches, it remains the least remembered because it summoned Christians to protest Vietnam. Despite the specific historical references, however, King’s argument that…

The Sunday after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, my husband’s family attended their Presbyterian church.  They went with heavy hearts, expecting the pastor to help make sense of the tragedy.  The minister rose to preach.  The congregation held its breath.  But he said nothing of the events in Memphis.  He preached as if…

With the World Cup in South Africa, it is appropriate to take note of African religion–for not only are Africans sports-mad, but they are the most religious people in the world.  In 1912, geographer George Kimball quipped, “The darkest thing about Africa has been our ignorance of it.”  For most Americans, not much has changed…

Diana Butler Bass
about

Diana Bass

Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of seven books including A People’s History of Christianity: the Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009) Her best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us (2006) was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and Christian Century, won the Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY.

Diana regularly consults with religious organizations, leads conferences for religious leaders, and teaches and preaches in a variety of venues. She regularly comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. From 1995-2000, she wrote a weekly column on American religion for the New York Times Syndicate. She has written widely in the religious press, including Sojourners, Christian Century, Clergy Journal, and Congregations.

From 2002 to 2006, she was the Project Director of a national Lilly Endowment funded study of mainline Protestant vitality—a project featured in Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Diana also serves on the board of directors of the Beatitudes Society.

Diana has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She has taught church history, American religious history, history of Christian thought, religion and politics, and congregational studies.

She lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in downtown Washington, D.C.

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